EBA – Letter to the Members 14.12.2023

Dansk Bonsai Selskab
Nyt fra EBA om EBA Convention i Reus i Spanien 2024
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With this “Letter to the Members”, the EBA Board send to you the minutes of the meetings in Olomouc and we are pleased to confirm the holding of the EBA Convention in Reus Spain by AEB under Juan Gomez. In this turbulent and terrible political and military turmoil, it is very remarkable that we are once again able to gather the many European bonsai enthusiasts from the EBA member countries at a peaceful event at the 2024 Convention in Spain.

At the meetings in Olomouc, the lack of applications by the member countries to hold an EBA convention was primarily discussed. Now some suggestions as to how EBA could make an application more attractive are up for discussion as you can see from the minutes. As soon as more information on the individual proposals has been developed, the board will prepare a decision by the member countries. However, we hope that we will be able to receive applications for the next years 2025 and 2026 by the time of the convention in Reus in 2024 without the need for serious changes within the EBA Convention Rules.

The bonsai art lives from the personal work and the personal exchange of experiences and the joint viewing of our bonsai and art objects. This is precisely why we must strive to be able to hold joint European events.

In this sense, the work of the organizers for and at the EBA Convention 2024 in Reus is of great importance for all bonsai enthusiasts and of course especially for the member countries to present their work on bonsai, suiseki and kusamono.

The participation of as many EBA Member Countries as possible in this convention is of in the interest for the presentation of European bonsai art to the public. It is now up to the member countries preparing high quality exhibits to contribute to the success of the event. The Board asks members to select qualified candidates for the New Talent Competition. More details about the venue, organization, registration, accommodation and the NTC are now being prepared by AEB.

Reg Bolton our past president celebrated his 90th birthday in March this year. We belatedly wish him a happy birthday and wish him all the best for the coming years.

He is a founder member of the Swindon and District Bonsai Society and was Chairman of FoBBS. He impressed crowds with his fabulous collection of bonsai trees not only at the world’s most famous Chelsea-Flower Show where he and his team have been awarded many gold medals by the Queen.

At the EBA Convention 2017 in Genk his long standing EBA Presidency ended. It began in 2004 with complicated matters to be resolved within the organisation of EBA. As president he oversaw many successful and excellent EBA Conventions: San Marino, Arco, Ksiaz, Ostend, Vienna, Lorca, Zurich, Ratingen, Ljubljana, Audincourt, Wroclaw, Vilnius, Szekesfehervar and Genk. Only a few of the EBA conventions he was not able to attend. Most of the meetings he headed at these venues created new impulses for the further development of EBA. Following in the footsteps of Rene Vantilt, Reg Bolton became together with Vaclav Novak the soul of the NTC – the New Talent Contest. He brought new ideas to this exciting area.

Further, Reg Bolton had the idea that the EBA should have a “Presidents Shield” with the engravings of all EBA Conventions from the beginning of the foundation as association. Since then, we now have two shields which will pass on from convention to convention to show our commitment and in further to inform the public’s understanding of Bonsai, as well as to appreciate the creative efforts of all our members in their enthusiasm of Bonsai.

Looking back at the successful years of Reg Bolton’s Presidency, EBA has to thank for the supportive cooperation within the board and the members. He has done a great deal for our association.

Unfortunately, Paul Lesniewicz, co-founder of the BCD, founder of the Heidelberg Bonsai Center and author of numerous bonsai books died this year. His influence on the development of bonsai in Germany and Europe cannot be overestimated. With the Heidelberg Bonsai Center in 1985, he created a fixed point from which the main impulses for German and European bonsai came.

Since the first informal contacts between European Bonsai enthusiasts in Heidelberg (1980), the European Bonsai Association (EBA) has acted as a coordinating body for bonsai organisations within its member countries.

At the invitation of Paul Lesniewicz, 1982 representatives of bonsai clubs from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Belgium came together during the 1st European bonsai Convention at Heidelberg with a view to informally discuss the possibility of founding a European Bonsai Association.

As an author, Lesniewicz has written several books about bonsai, some with well-known co-authors such as Hideo Kato and Willi Benz. Many of his works have also been translated into other languages.

In 1998 he gave up the management of the bonsai center, slowly withdrew from the public eye and later moved to the Canary Island of Tenerife, where he died on June 15, 2023 after a short period of suffering.

The EBA regrets his death and will preserve the memory of his contributions to the establishment and development of the EBA.

The EBA Convention 2023 in Olomouc, Czech Republic was a very successful event. The exhibition was very well attended. An incredibly large number of visitors crowded through the exhibition grounds and halls. The shown bonsai, suiseki and all the other exhibits had been excellently presented.

On behalf of the EBA Board we would like to thank the team from CBA for their extensive work done. Many thanks from the EBA Board to the participants (exhibitors, delegates, judges) of the member countries and to all organizers for managing the programme, the exhibitions and the evening event together with the award ceremony. 

The NTC was successfully held and there were well-deserved winners:

1.Jan Peteraj              Slovakia

2. Steven Rouvoet     Netherlands

3. Miroslav Kolar         UK

The artwork of all finalists was very excellent.

EBA NTC Finalists: Diargo Masson, Pierre-Marie Cochard, Frank Köhler, Cyril Benoit, Vladislav Boudný, Lukas Senn, Vincenzo Bandello, Noel Castillo Castro, Wojciech Niemiec 

EBA has also given awards to excellent exhibits:

lan Maros                                Carpinus betulus

Oldrich Kaspar                        Pinus mugo

Patrick Hêche                         Pinus mugo

Botanická Zahrada Praha    Eleagnus pungens

Oldrich Muzikant                     Mountain Range

At the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year 2024 we like to send you our best wishes for the holiday season and the year ahead. We thank you very much for your engagement in the work for the European Bonsai Association. We truly hope that 2024 will be a better year with regard to peace and relief from pandemic.

We are looking forward to have an EBA Convention in Reus and can meet you at this occasion in October 2024.

Marc Noelanders (EBA- President)   Pierre Bedes (EBA 1. Vice-President)

Vaclav Novak (EBA 2. Vice-President)  Jürgen Carocci (EBA Treasurer)

Detlef Mostler (EBA Secretary)

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